Colombian Women’s Cycling Team Uniform Sexist?

Colombia Men's Cycling Uniform

Good luck finding photos of the equally terrible MEN’S team uniform.

There has been almost as much media uproar the past few days about the Colombian women’s cycling team’s uniform as there has been about the Ebola epidemic or the war in the Ukraine. Brian Cookson, the International Cycling Union president tweeted that “it is unacceptable by any standard of decency.”

Many media outlets have reported that the uniform, with a flesh-colored section between stomach and thighs, was worn by the Colombian national cycling team at the Tour of Tuscany in Italy over the weekend. But the thing is, the uniform is NOT flesh colored, and the team wearing it is NOT the national team, it’s the Bogota Humana-San Mateo-Solgar team.

While it’s not clear why or how an international race team would end up with such an aesthetically terrible design, what IS clear is that the media is happy to turn it all into questions of nudity and human decency. The “flesh” color is actually gold lycra, and in spite of the men’s team having an equally terrible uniform, there seems to be only one photo of it in circulation, while there are about a half-dozen of the women’s team making the rounds.

The Chasing Wheels blog has a nice roundup called 5 things you should know about that Colombian cycling kit. Here it is, summarized. See the post itself for full explanations:

1. It’s not the national team or the national team kit
2. It’s not flesh or nude, it’s gold
3. They’ve apparently been wearing it for up to 9 months
4. It seems to have been designed by one of the riders on the team
5. Most women in the top tier of professional cycling aren’t even making what most countries would describe as a minimum wage.

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